We appreciate many residents will have questions and we will try and answer as many of those as possible, please read our your questions answered page.
For us in Kent, as across the country, and indeed across the world, we now face a massive challenge in the form of coronavirus and its impact on our lives and work.
For Kent County Council, we are set on ensuring we continue to deliver the services we have always done for people in Kent and we recognise the challenges this means for Kent residents, and we’ll respond to these.
Those of our staff who are able to work from home are doing so in accordance with government guidance.
Our biggest priority is for vulnerable users of our services; to ensure they are safeguarded, and ensure there is a continuity of the services that are provided, and that no one is left isolated.
We have tried and tested ways of working to ensure we cover for that, and for a range of eventualities, so that even if we see significant staff sickness there are plans in place to ensure that those services are provided above all, to those who most need them.
In terms of the county council’s own work and that of councillors, that carries on. It will change its form so we are moving to cancel a number of our meetings. There’s a reason for that.
There’s few better ways to ensure the spread of virus than have a large number of us in one room, and then spread out across the county. That doesn’t mean the work will not continue.
We will move to virtual meetings, remote meetings and also the central decision making of the county council continues, and the decisions that need to be made, are made.
We do recognise that is a taxing and difficult time for providers and suppliers across Kent, and we will move to ensure our providers and suppliers are paid promptly, and we will seek to be part of the plans to assist Kent businesses through this time, and to ensure recovery after the crisis is over.
Above all, what I’d like to say is a big thank you to our staff who are ensuring those services continue, and those who go out to deal with the most vulnerable residents and ensure they have the support they need at this time.
We will also continue communication about our services and our activities so Kent residents know what it is they can expect from us, and what we will do and what we will provide.
The most important thing is we keep up with guidance and advice from central government on how best we deal with this virus; how we keep ourselves safe, protect our health and livelihoods, and come through this crisis better and stronger.
Roger Gough, leader of Kent County Council